Today’s rosary meditation is the Second Joyful Mystery — The Visitation. After accepting God’s will in the Annunciation, Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist. Mary came with this message, “My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior. For He has looked upon His servant in her lowliness; all ages to come shall call me blessed” (Lk 1:46-48, emphasis mine). She stayed with Elizabeth for three months presumably offering a helping hand whenever needed.
This mystery is one of the best examples of using God’s grace to help others. Keep in mind that traveling to see relatives in the time of the Roman Empire was no easy task. It would take weeks, if not months, to travel between villages. Traveling was a challenge and dangerous for the very strong let alone a pregnant teenager. Despite the hardship, Mary made the journey in order to share the good news with her cousin and help in any way she could. As the Mother of God she chose to use God’s grace to serve others and not to be served. As she said in Luke’s Gospel, God’s greatness is found in His lowly servants doing His will, not those who try to be masters. We see this same theme through Jesus who is King of Heaven and yet came into this world as a humble servant.
When I meditate on this mystery I’m often reminded about the difference between acquiring God’s grace and using it. I know that prayer, fasting, and receiving the Sacraments (particularly washing away sin during Confession) all help me achieve God’s grace. However, I often fail in using grace to help others in need. I could help others more whether it be donating some of my time for charitable causes to just making myself available when friends or family need me. I’m sure I miss great opportunities to actually put my faith into practice all the time. Ask yourself, are you using all of your God-given gifts to their full potential? Are you choosing to serve others as Mary did or are you expecting to be served?
The lesson behind The Visitation is that God calls on us all to put our faith into action. Yes, our faith is something that is deeply personal. But it is also something that should be very public. God gives us grace not only for our own sake, but to also help others in their conversion towards God’s love and their ultimate salvation. I’m reminded of the saying, “actions speak louder than words.” Let us remember that about prayer. Let us not just pay lip service to God, but actually put into action what we believe. Prayer is good and necessary, but it is the foundation for good works and not an end in itself.
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